If you have a flair for writing and working independently, you should consider freelance writing. As a freelancer, you can work your own hours without being held down by a boss.
Freelance writing offers a fantastic way to earn money and gain experience in a chosen field. But it takes a lot of self-promotion, a good pitching strategy and a healthy tolerance for rejection.
Ready to start your freelance writing career? It’s not rocket science, but you will need to overcome a few challenges. The good thing is that you already know how to write. Keep reading to learn how to become a freelance writer.
Know Who You Are
One of the challenges when trying to figure out how to become a freelance writer is knowing your passions and what you want to write about. If you can pen down your areas of interest or an area of interest, it will be much easier to find jobs in your niche.
If you’re someone with a bit of technical experience, for example, you can use your tech skills to find writing jobs that apply to your area of expertise. Better yet, freelancing writing can be the side income that adds to the income you earn from your day job.
When it comes to finding your “passion,” consider niches and topics that pique your interest. There are tons paid writing gigs out there and some might align with your interests.
Choose and Research Your Niche
In most cases, the earlier you decide on a niche, the better. First, you may want to find an industry and then get into a sub-niche in that industry. For example, if you’re in the health industry, you may want to write about a general topic like sleep (niche) or write for sleep technology (sub-niche) brands.
Some profitable niches to think about include insurance, financial services, hospitality, health, and technology. After choosing a niche, start researching. You can start this by going to Google search and type in niche + writer and make a list of the results. Keep an eye on the blogs, stories and brands that are the perfect places for your niche.
If there are writers in the niche, that’s great news─ it typically means the industry is paying. The next thing you want to do is create a list of people and places in your niche. That is where you’re going to find potential clients.
Seek Out Education or Training
You don’t need a college degree to become a freelance, so don’t worry. However, if you’re new to freelancing writing, you’ll likely want to be self-taught so you produce quality work right from the start.
If you don’t have the time or money to get a college education, you should consider an online writing course. Generally speaking, online writing courses are much cheaper than formal degrees. Plus, you can work through them on weekends and in the evenings (and from home)
If you’re planning to pursue an English major degree, that’s fine too. But remember, writing-intensive majors like journalism and creative writing can be profitable as well.
Freelance writing tends to be more about practice and experience than fancy pedigree. So, if you’re considering grad school, be careful. You might incur additional expenses and no guarantee of work down the line.
Start a Blog
This is optional an optional step but can’t be a very helpful one. You usually need to show your portfolio if you care about getting hired faster. A blog is a valuable tool you can use to show your work so there’s good reason to start one and publish your work there.
Starting and running a blog might seem like a ton of work but it will benefit your writing career in numerous ways. There are plenty of websites that make it easy for you to start a blog without being tech-savvy like Squarespace and Wix.
Creating a blog will also teach you how to use content management systems (like WordPress) thus increasing your job opportunities. The most important benefit is that a blog houses your writing samples you can send to potential employers.
Get Your First Client
Learning how to become a freelance writer isn’t just about your writing skills─ it also comes down to find people to write for. While there’s no straight answer to the best way to attract clients because everyone is different, here’s what you should know.
In the beginning, it might be hard getting that first client and you might go through a lot of rejections. Remain polite and don’t get discouraged. You may want to work on your profile and include a strong bio which you can read more here about mastering.
Keep pitching all your ideas clearly and concisely to the relevant client─ persistence is the absolute key to success. Eventually, as you improve your skills and credibility, you could end up getting more work than you can handle.
Also keep an eye on content marketing agencies. You can reach out to them and ask if they have some work. Also, you can browse job boards, like ProBlogger, LinkedIn Jobs, and Freelance Writers Den.
Assess Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
While it may be fun and exciting thinking about all the projects you have in the pipeline, focus on your current and short-term goals. It’s the short-term goals that will keep the incarnation of your new career running.
That doesn’t mean you forget about your goals, you just need to plan your time properly. That could be spending 80% of your time on your current tasks and the remaining 20% working on your long-term goals.
Learn How to Become a Freelance Writer
If you‘ve been thinking about how to become a freelance writer, you should definitely take heed to these tips. The most important things to focus on are improving in your craft every day and positioning yourself as a capable professional.
Putting yourself out there and getting clients might seem like an uphill battle at first being consistent pays off in the long run. For more tips and advice on career moves, read the rest of our blog